While coaches on The Voice have come and gone, the upcoming season of the long-running singing competition is really going to look different without coach Blake Shelton. The country singer was on the series since the very beginning of its run and was the last remaining OG coach. It was in October 2022 that Sheldon announced he'd be leaving after Season 23. The series went all out for Shelton’s final episode, but it’s time to get ready for the new season, which sees Reba McEntire joining the fray as Shelton's successor. Now, she’s sharing her honest thoughts on replacing her fellow country crooner.
Reba McEntire is no stranger to The Voice, as she served as an advisor for Team Blake on the first season in 2015. It's quite interesting that's she's going from advising Team Blake to replacing Blake Shelton. And since she was present at the beginning of the program's run, this new gig serves as something of a full-circle moment for her. On an episode of The Parting Shot with H. Alan Scott for Newsweek, the country superstar opened up about what it really feels to be filling in Shelton’s shoes and holding down the country front on the popular NBC show:
It's a lot of pressure because nobody can replace Blake Shelton. He's a huge personality and a wonderful person. So I'm just getting in there trying to have fun and represent country music as best I can.
Despite that "pressure," if there's anyone worthy of taking over for Blake Shelton, it’s definitely Reba McEntire. She is a force to be reckoned with on the country music scene, to say the least. Having been in the industry since the 1970s, she has quite a bit of experience and as a result, possesses a lot of advice she can give to aspiring artists. Plus, as she's proven, McEntire is a warm presence but also doesn't mind being honest whenever she shares her thoughts. I personally have no doubt she's going to do a great job and make Shelton proud.
So far, "Austin" singer's exit from The Voice has been met with bittersweet feelings and some playful barbs from his former co-stars. Season 24's coaches have already started taking humorous shots at his exit. In a new trailer for the upcoming season, his wife, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and reigning champ Niall Horan talked about how different the show feels without him. However, they also couldn’t help but bask in the fact that they had a chance to recruit the country singers. Of course, the A+ promo shows their joy being deflated once they realize just who's joining them. Team Reba is coming in hot this year, and the music legend is sure to shake up the show a bit.
Even though it’s going to be great to see Reba McEntire in the coaches’ chair, it may still take some time to get used to the show being without Blake Shelton. It does, however, sound like this has all been a relief for Shelton, since he has a lot more free time on his hands. One would hope that he'll be watching alongside the fans as McEntire picks up the torch and seeks to put her stamp on the series he helped make into a hit.
Season 24 of The Voice will kick off on Monday, September 25 at 8 p.m. ET only on NBC. Check out the 2023 TV schedule for information on other shows headed your way this fall as well.